Stylist and journalist Marcellas Reynolds’ Supreme Models: Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion comprises 256 pages of black models and their accomplishments over the past 70 years—including magazine covers, editorials, catwalk images and more. Beginning with Iman, Beverly Johnson and Donyale Luna and ending with Adwoa Aboah, Jourdan Dunn and Joan Smalls, the book celebrates not only beauty, but also boldness and strength. It also touches on the ways that these voices and their visibility made, and continue to make, a difference.
Amy Hempel’s fifth collection of short fiction, Sing To It: New Stories, is the first in a decade from the beloved writer. Made up of vignettes, the book includes 15 stories that tackle themes including loneliness, truth and guilt. As ever, Hempel’s prose is somewhat minimal but concurrently undeniably rich.
First published to accompany Jason Moran’s exhibit at the Walker Art Center in 2018, this 272 page book marks the first in-depth exploration of his work and practice. A pianist, composer, visual artist, and frequent collaborator, Moran abides by no rules with regard to the confines of medium—resulting in work that teeters somewhere between jazz history, performance art and sculpture. Fit for music fans and art lovers alike, the Whitney Museum store is selling copies to coincide with his fall 2019 exhibition there.
With The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, author Antwaun Sargent addresses breakthroughs for representation of the black image in artistic industries, communities and their respective marketplaces. Turning his attention to pioneering black photographers, Sargent opens a dialogue on institutional barriers, exclusion and the tidal shift underway on an international level. The book, published by Aperture, incorporates 250 four-color images from talent including Awol Erizku, Quil Lemons, Namsa Leuba, Dana Scruggs, Tyler Mitchell and more—as well as conversations with Shaniqwa Jarvis, Deborah Willis and CH favorite Mickalene Thomas.
Written by former jazz and pop critic at The New York Times, Nate Chinen, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century is a definitive guide to the genre from the past to the present. While today’s jazz may be different, it’s rooted in the same ideals and ethos, and Chinen argues for its continued relevance while highlighting some contemporary talent. He does this while educating readers on the genre’s illustrious and influential past.
Authored by multi-media artist Walt Cassidy (aka Waltpaper), New York: Club Kids proves to be a most comprehensive survey of the legendary antics of ’90s nightlife in NYC. Cassidy, a central figure in the subculture, saw firsthand the “artistic, fashion-conscious youth movement that crossed over into the public consciousness.” Though it includes rare photographs, this book is far more than an attempt at archiving an era that bubbled up from the underground; it also works to contextualize modern-day concepts that originated with the Club Kids: “reality television, self-branding, ‘influencers’ and the gender revolution.”
Respected biographer Meryle Secrest seeks to uncover a Cold War era conspiracy in her new book The Mysterious Affair at Olivetti: IBM, the CIA, and the Cold War Conspiracy to Shut Down Production of the World’s First Desktop Computer. The story revolves around the Olivetti company and family, best known for their typewriters, but also the brand behind the first personal computer—some 10 years before competitors like Apple and IBM. The book begins with Adriano (the son of founder Camillo Olivetti) dying on a train to Switzerland in 1960—suspicious considering he had previously worked to remove prime minister Benito Mussolini during WWII and had ties to spy networks. In her book, Secrest seeks to understand why Olivetti, being such a pioneering company in the world of tech, fell into obscurity and what really happened to Adriano and lead engineer Mario Tchou, who also died mysteriously a year later.
Cleo Le-Tan’s A Booklover’s Guide to New York is a thoughtfully selected collection of the city’s most charming book stores and libraries; as well as writers’ homes and favorite cafes, bars and restaurants; and well-known literary landmarks. With whimsical illustrations by beloved French artist Pierre Le-Tan (whose work graced countless New Yorker covers) and contributions from Tavi Gevinson, Marc Jacobs and Hamish Bowles, this guidebook can function as a real-life city guide or the entry-point to a daydream.
Part art book, part cookbook, part biography, Mirka & George: A Culinary Affair documents the life of Mirka and Georges Mora, Melbourne-based couple by way of Paris. Their apartment became a hub for the artistic community and their restaurants accommodated the overflow. This book—through photos, prints of their art, recipes and more—explains why the pair were so beloved and became icons of the Australian city.
Grand Union: Stories is prolific author Zadie Smith’s first collection of short stories. The respected and beloved author features her horror tales alongside historical fiction, reflective pieces on modernity, dystopian tales and more. While diverse in subject and genre, Smith’s writing is consistently rich, thoughtful and measured. There are 19 stories within, 11 of which are new and exclusive to this release.
Produced by Out Of Print, purveyors of all manner of book-related goods, this Where The Wild Things Are tote bag is emblazoned with the cover of Maurice Sendak’s beloved book. Measuring 15 by 17 inches, it’s made from 100% cotton canvas. All purchases from Out Of Print benefit literacy funds and book drives for communities in need.
An autobiography by punk icon Debbie Harry, Face It: A Memoir was crafted by Harry and music writer Sylvie Simmons. The fascinating tome is full of history, anecdotes and wild tales, but steers clear of being a full-on confessional—which perfectly suits Harry’s impeccably crafted Blondie persona. From her teenage years to moving to New York, meeting Chris Stein, her rise to fame and the creation of Blondie (the band and the character), nearly everything gets documented candidly alongside never-before-published photographs and artwork. Of course, there’s much more to Debbie Harry than Blondie, and plenty of that is explored within, too.
From award-winning journalist and author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Water Dancer is a stunning debut novel that has garnered universal praise for its dense, detail-rich prose and its moving tale about freedom. Though a work of surrealist fiction set in Virginia midway through the 19th century, the novel touches on themes that are still present today: the separation of families, the generational mistreatment of minorities, and the long-lasting impact of slavery in the USA.
With illustrations by Yayoi Kusama, this Penguin Classics hardcover release fuses the artist’s surreal style with the beloved tale. The book still suits kids, but proves that the tale transcends generations. Kusama’s take on the classic is perhaps the most creative and tantalizing yet.
Poet Ocean Vuong experiments with a brand new form in his meditative debut novel: the queer protagonist writes a cathartic yet tender letter to his Vietnamese mother, who will most likely never read it. Vuong’s visceral, unflinching use of language and metaphors hit like a tsunami, awakening numbed readers to the raw emotions and reckonings that make us human.
For those interested in understanding the inner-workings of Apollo 11’s mission to the moon, Phil Dollings and Christoper Riley’s Owners’ Manual affords insight previously seen by those working on the mission. From diagrams of rockets and command modules to details of suits worn by the crew and instructions on how to fly Apollo 11, there’s a bounty of information to peruse.